The 2020 Election is more than a year away, but campaigns are already in full swing. President Donald Trump has already made it known that he will be running for re-election, but he is facing opposition from his own party. Former Massachusetts Governor and Libertarian VP candidate Bill Weld has announced that he will be running on the Republican ticket in 2020. The Democratic Party will have a very crowded race: over 20 candidates have already announced that they will be running in the 2020 election.
Following our popular 2016 feature, Alt Legal is digging into the trademark data to understand the candidates. We’ve explored various aspects of trademark application data to figure out potential strategies of the already declared candidates and those who may declare in the near future, and we’ve uncovered other interesting facts and information that the candidates included in their trademark applications.
See the marks here: Keep America Great
President Trump ran his 2016 campaign with the slogan “Make America Great Again,” and he seemingly knew he would be running for reelection a few days before his presidential inauguration. The “Keep America Great” application was filed on January 18, 2017, and it appears to be a slogan that the President will use for his 2020 campaign. The goods and services descriptions mention the mark will be used for “providing information regarding Donald J. Trump as a political candidate.” The application itself is still under examination, with a current suspension letter. Stay tuned; as we get closer to election day, we may see the status of the application change.
Maryland Representative John Delaney has the most trademark applications of any 2020 candidate. Based on all of the application dates, we can guess that Representative Delaney knew he was going to run sometime in March or April of 2018. The first applications that were filed include: “Country Over Partisanship” (now abandoned), “Country Over Party,” and “The Right Answer.” All of these applications had a filing date of April 23rd, 2018. Representative Delaney’s most recent application for “Believe in Something Better” was filed in November 2018. Based on the number of filings, it seems that Representative Delaney was either trying to figure out the right slogan for his campaign or to stake a claim to potential slogans from other candidates before they announced. “Focus on the Future” seems to be Delaney’s slogan, as it is featured prominently on his campaign website.
California Senator and 2020 frontrunner Kamala Harris formally kicked off her campaign on January 27, 2020, and she filed all of her trademark applications only a few days later. She filed both “Kamala Harris for the People” marks on February 1st, 2019 and her stylized “KAMALA” mark on February 7th, 2019.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar formally announced her candidacy in the middle of a Minnesota snowstorm on February 10th, 2019. Surprisingly enough, the snow was a big hit, and Klobuchar will likely continue to use the snow theme during her campaign. On both of her trademark applications, she claimed snowglobes in the goods and services. So keep your eyes out for an Amy Klobuchar snowglobe!
Senator Booker, like Klobuchar and Harris, followed a similar pattern when filing his trademark applications. Shortly after he announced his candidacy, he filed both applications. One main difference, however, is that the owner of these marks is a company called PFCEC, Inc. While the other owners are the campaign non-profits for the prospective candidates, this seems to be a holding company for the Senator.
The Texas representative shocked the country after he almost beat Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm elections. The momentum propelled him forward to be an early frontrunner in the 2020 election, and he raised more money on his first day than any other presidential candidate. Both applications were filed on March 21, 2019, one week after he officially declared his candidacy.
Senator Sanders filed for four trademark applications on March 21, 2019. The applications the Vermont senator filed are very telling as to how he is going to approach his campaign for the 2020 election. It’s clear that Sanders is going to stand by his anti-corporation and anti-big-business politics as well as promote a message of unifying the country. In addition, Sanders is taking advantage of his 2016 popularity and applied to protect “Feel The Bern,” which was a phrase used by many Bernie supporters in 2016.
Andrew Yang is more of an unknown candidate on the Democratic side, but he recently gained some popularity with tech-savvy younger voters. The tech entrepreneur’s two trademark applications have been abandoned, but based on the filing date of “Yang2020,” we can predict that Yang knew he would be running for president in December 2017. This is one of the earliest filing dates of all the Democratic presidential candidates.
See the marks here: United Forward 2020
Julianne Benzel is a high school teacher running for president in 2020. Running as a Republican candidate, Ms. Benzel has already received some criticism after she made comments about protesting in schools.
As the campaign season continues and we get closer to the election, we will continue to monitor the USPTO and the trademark data associated with the candidates. We will continue to update this article as new marks are filed and more information on the current applications are made available!
Update #1: We finally got to see the candidates in action a few weeks ago after the first Democratic debate was held. With that, we wanted to provide an update on some additional candidate filings that we found.
Pete Buttigieg, the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced his candidacy on April 14, 2019. As of April 17th, Mayor Buttigieg also became the candidate to have the most trademark applications filed with a total of seven. Mayor Buttigieg filed four of his seven marks on April 10th, shortly before he announced his candidacy. Notably, Mayor Pete’s campaign filed a trademark for “Boot Edge Edge” application which is being used to help people pronounce the mayor’s last name. He is already using this mark on coffee mugs, can be found on his campaign’s online store.
The former Vice President became an instant frontrunner in the Democratic race as soon as he announced his candidacy. The Biden campaign filed four trademark applications on April 24, 2019, a day before he announced his candidacy. Uniquely, all four of his trademark applications are for stylized marks. Unlike the other candidates, Vice President Biden did not file any standard character mark applications.